- The Washington Times
Monday, May 4, 2020

A group of Senate Democrats on Monday demanded the Justice Department address the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter to Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, who heads the department’s Civil Rights Division, the senators asked for details on how he intended to address the situation.

“It is critical that the Civil Rights Division ensure that the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans are protected during this pandemic,” the senators wrote.

Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed the letter to Mr. Dreiband.

The FBI last month warned that hate crimes against Asian-Americans could increase because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the bureau has not released statistics about attacks on Asian-Americans since the pandemic began.

Reports of anti-Asian racism have surfaced in the media. In March, a Texas man stabbed two Asian-American children because “he thought the family was Chinese and infecting people with the coronavirus,” according to court documents.

The Senators demanded the Justice Department publicly release a plan detailing how it will address the rise in hate crimes as well as provide monthly reports to Congress about the number of attacks on Asian-Americans linked to the coronavirus.

So far, the Department’s response has been “inadequate,” the senators said.

“The Department of Justice has taken little action,” they wrote, detailing the efforts the department took to protect Muslims after the 9/11 terror attacks.

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